viaje al infinito sueño solitario


(Sensible owners of our happiness)


'Like A Wheel That Turns'
The 2022 Macfarlane Commissions
Australian Centre For Contemporary Art (ACCA)

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Originally from Venezuela, Nadia Hernández's art is informed by a rich assemblage of cultural, political and familial histories and narratives, and her experience as a member of the Venezuelan diaspora. Working across painting and drawing, sculpture, textiles and paper constructions, and sometimes incorporating food and music, Hernández gathers her diverse artistic and everyday output into exuberant installations.

Hernández's work is inspired by, and seeks to reanimate, legacies of Latin American art and poetry, design and decoration, all the while celebrating newly emerging forms of cultural identity and political agency. She comes from a family who have shared and celebrated poetry through generations, just as they have navigated decades of political disruption, displacement and resistance to state violence. De nuestra felicidad 2022, for example, is a text painting which reanimates a phrase from a letter received from the artist's mother, in which the mother lovingly reassures her daughter that 'we are the owners of our own happiness. The declarative graphics and chromatic play between image and text recall the geometric design, tropical palette and human realities of Venezuelan modernism, concrete poetry and neo-concrete art and the daring spatial dynamics of architect Go Ponti's Villa Planchart in Caracas (1953-57).

Downward spiral 2022 alludes to a less utopian trajectory in the Venezuelan political economy since the late 1980s. Upright and suspended ("from grandeur to collapse' as the artist notes), with a hard and soft, hand-made materiality, Hernández's new installation sits between the playground and the pedagogical, deployed through the gallery in the form of a procession or protest, addressing the institutional architecture and the agency of the viewer in equal measure.


Essay by Max Delaney
Photography by Samantha Lynch